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Do we ever question Linux?

Link to this post 15 May 09

An almost randomly‚Äêchosen, wise quote:

It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

And now that I’ve scared away more than half of the viewers…

I wish that the Linux community–the developers and the end users–would spend more time asking simple questions, get some interesting discussions going—and to challenge what is considered to be the hard facts in Linux‐land.

Instead of getting to “the right answer” or a conclution right now, let’s rather discuss the pros and cons about for instance having one software package format. Should the Linux Standard Base/The Linux Foundation standardize one?

This might seem scary, but remember that you’re already used to having one choice of certain components in Linux. There’s only one kernel and–as far as I know, only one X system (I don’t really consider rare forks, obsolete, outdated versions and such, as alternatives).

Another question, is the command line mode needed in 2009? Can the powerful grep, pipe, less‐stuff be replaced by a snappy file manager with some filtered views? And why can’t Linux have a nice and smooth startup screen like Windows and OS X?

Why are there folders named usr, dev and etc in the file system? usr sounds like user, but it means Unix System Resources. dev could for a newcomer be mistaken for developer, etc sounds more like et cetera than settings etc. Aren’t Users, Settings and Applications more descriptive?

So these are the kind of questions that I wish there would be more discussions about.

Discuss!

Link to this post 15 May 09

Alexander wrote:

An almost randomly‚Äêchosen, wise quote:
[quote]It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.
And now that I’ve scared away more than half of the viewers…

I wish that the Linux community–the developers and the end users–would spend more time asking simple questions, get some interesting discussions going—and to challenge what is considered to be the hard facts in Linux‐land.

Instead of getting to “the right answer” or a conclution right now, let’s rather discuss the pros and cons about for instance having one software package format. Should the Linux Standard Base/The Linux Foundation standardize one?[/quote]

Standardization isn't the answer to everything. it can create obstacles and impede improvement due to everyone trying to not deviate from the standard.

Now, if you think about it, RPM is the enterprise standard when it comes to package management. Red Hat, CentOS, Novell, Mandriva, and Oracle all use RPM. It's really Canonical that has deviated from the RPM standard in the corporate world. Does this mean that Canonical should be forced to change from DEB packages to RPM packages in the name of standardization? Why?

Should a community based distribution like Gentoo give up their Portage system to conform to the corporate RPM standard? If you have ever compiled software on an RPM or DEB based distro, you'll quickly find out that the package managers in these distros are unaware of software that you have compiled; thus to uninstall compiled software, it takes a lot of work and effort to hunt down and remove every single file that has been compiled. Gentoo may not be suitable for the normal user, but for developers, it's the best thing since slice bread.

This [i]might[/i] seem scary, but remember that you’re already used to having one choice of certain components in Linux. There’s only one kernel and–as far as I know, only one X system (I don’t really consider rare forks, obsolete, outdated versions and such, as alternatives).

You can use BSD instead of Linux and end up with a similar system that is different, so it's not really one choice when it comes to the kernel. Even Debian now gives users the choice to change to a BSD kernel (http://www.debian.org/ports/kfreebsd-gnu/).

As for the X system, we don't have any real alternatives, but no one is being stopped from doing so either. If someone can make something better than the current X system, I'm all for it.


Another question, is the command line mode needed in 2009? Can the powerful grep, pipe, less‐stuff be replaced by a snappy file manager with some filtered views? And why can’t Linux have a nice and smooth startup screen like Windows and OS X?

I agree that the command line should not be forced on users, but why should it be removed? Even in Windows, you can run "cmd" and run a terminal as primitive as it is.

As for the startup screen, try Sabayon. It has a very nice startup screen. Even in verbose mode, it is very graphical.

Sabayon Startup Screen: http://wiki.sabayonlinux.org/images/thumb/f/f2/Bootk5.png/800px-Bootk5.png

Sabayon Verbose Mode: http://wiki.sabayonlinux.org/images/7/71/Bootk6.png

As you can see, your complaint about the startup screen is a distribution issue, and not a Linux issue.


Why are there folders named [i]usr[/i], [i]dev[/i] and [i]etc[/i] in the file system? usr sounds like user, but it means [i]Unix System Resources[/i]. dev could for a newcomer be mistaken for [i]developer[/i], etc sounds more like [i]et cetera[/i] than settings etc. Aren’t [i]Users[/i], [i]Settings[/i] and [i]Applications[/i] more descriptive?

They are named that way because that's how UNIX was designed, but there's a special distro that agrees with you and changes it. You should give it a try.

http://gobolinux.org/


So these are the kind of questions that I wish there would be more discussions about.

Discuss!

I think Linux gains it's strength from its diversity. People can experiment, and distros can use what works and not use what doesn't.

Link to this post 15 May 09

i agree with you in the linux Standardization because i think it will make the linux more powerful and the development will be faster.

Link to this post 15 May 09

standardization is the key to success
- ethernet
- pc - wide-open implementation of various (hardware) standards
- linux file locations
(sorry, changing that structure won't make a better os.)
- the look and feel of the standard menu bar
everyone knows file = save, save as, print
whether windows or linux

what causes loss in standardization is the years it may take to come to a standard, or a vendor jumping the gun and creating a pseudo-standard, incompatible with anything else.

w/o standardization, mine won't talk to yours.
there is no basis for trade (gallon, liter, euro, dollar)
nor communication (what language we agree to use)
etc.

Link to this post 15 May 09

A big no here.

I do think that by having a standard package, desktop and everything everywhere would definitely help Linux get more users fast.

But the goal of Linux has never been getting all the users. Linus said that Microsoft going down is just a inevitable side effect.

Now, Linux is not just the kernel. Linux is not a full operating system. This community page is what Linux is. It is choice, anyone can create their own software adn use it in their own distribution. Anyone can decide they will not use a package manager at all. We are all working towards a common goan, but we all have our own approach. However, it is not good to force your approach to everyone.

If .rpm were everywhere, it would be a lot easier to hurt Linux by malware, because it works everywhere. It would be a sad thing for Gentoo, SourceMage and other source-based distributions, if they were forced to use .rpm. You do know that kind of feat, de facto package that is, is not going to happen without using force. There goes the freedom.

There is a different X system, Xvesa or something which is used by Slitaz and DSL. It's just stupid to think they are deprecated, old and a bad thing generally. Because of it, it's possible to create a really small distribution with full graphical desktop. Not to mention that there is a distribution for newbies that does not have any X at all. INX (INX is not X).

It is never going to happen. Only way to achieve that is to make package format so good that everyone wants to use it.

I declare this discussion old. It has been around for so long and it's just in vain. Not going to happen and we all know it.

Link to this post 15 May 09

There needs to be standardization for some aspects of the operating system. That being said, though, I would not want to see GNU/Linux become a one-choice/one-option ONLY operating system; for that I'll buy a Mac.

A great percentage of the joy I've gained from experimenting with this operating system is due to the variety out there right now. I think GNU/Linux will experience a bit of Darwin's natural selection. The strong will survive. The weak will lose community support and fall by the wayside.

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